James Blunt has only been a major British act for a year or so, but his performance at Massey Hall would fool you into thinking different. In an 80-minute set, he played to and off the crowd expertly.
Blunt played most (if not all) the songs off his debut album, several b-sides, one cover and a brand new song. And if the new song is to be on his next album, a sophomore jinx is something not to worry about.
His most powerful performances were his piano pieces, including "No Bravery." On "Goodbye My Lover," he told the audience that he was losing his voice, perhaps to coax the crowd into singing along to give him a boost. The crowd did on that song, and continued to throughout his set. Another fine performance was a psychedelic, rocked-out, blues rendition of "So Long Jimmy."
In between songs, Blunt was a good comedian and a better host. The applause Blunt received was appropriate, and the encore call was among the loudest I've heard.
Next up in Toronto for Blunt, I would think, is a bigger venue, say the ACC. On the basis of this show, Blunt is ready.